Acupuncture analgesia in mice

Yi-Wen Lin, Ph.D.


Prof. of College of Chinese Medicine, Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science



Pain is often initiated in several conditions including inflammation, which result from altered peripheral nerve properties. Electroacupuncture (EA) is an ancient Chinese medical technology used for pain management. My study is concerning about the research on acupuncture analgesia. We want to investigate the mechanisms underlying antinociceptive effect of EA at Zusanli (ST36) acupoint. We utilized animal behaviours, immunohistochemistry staining, western blotting, and electrophysiology to determine acupuncture analgesia. We suggest that inflammatory pain models-induced mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia was attenuated by EA. We also indicate that EA may also reduce nociceptive TRPV1, ASIC3, and Navs from peripheral dorsal root ganglion (DRG) to central spinal cord (SC), and thalamus neurons. TRPV1, ASIC3 and associated signaling pathways was increased in inflammatory pain and further attenuated by EA. We further used chronic pain and depression comorbidity mice model. We indicated that EA significantly reduced chronic pain and depression comorbidity. Through our study, we have increased the understanding of the mechanism that EA might alter ASIC3, TRPV1 and associated signaling pathways to reduce hyperalgesia. We hope these findings could be applied in clinical study for better therapy.